It was certainly a tough weekend for Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats. They saw their undefeated record and Top 25 ranking go down the drain after a lackluster 49-0 loss at No. 2 Oregon.
But that didn’t stop Rodriguez from sharing some sympathy after watching the conclusion of the Seahawks-Packers game on Monday night.
Seattle stole a 14-12 victory from the reigning NFC North champions after an apparent interception by M.D. Jennings was ruled to be simultaneously caught by Seahawks’ wide receiver Golden Tate in the end zone.
“You feel bad for the coaches and players who work so hard all year and all week, who invest so much, and have that play cost them a game,” Rodriguez told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf. “When it happens on the field like that, you say ‘well it’s a bang-bang play, maybe you see it maybe you don’t.’ But to review it and get it wrong, to me, is the biggest thing that’s disappointing.”
In recent weeks, plenty of coaches and players have either been caught on camera berating the league’s replacement referees or have taken to various social media sites, but Rodriguez said it’s hard to characterize the varied instances of poor behavior as “out of line.”
“If you are a player or coach, you fill so much of your life with [football],” said Rodriguez. “You don’t just coach your job, you live your job. You don’t just play your job, you live it.
“I’ve learned over my years that some judgement calls are not going to go your way. But the ones that really bother you are the ones where they have the ability to replay and rewind it, and don’t get it right. They should always get those right.”
Although Rodriguez has been privileged to have his team’s games officiated by veteran referees this season, if the first-year Wildcats coach were in Green Bay boss Mike McCarthy’s shoes Monday night, he believes it wouldn’t have been pretty.
“My wife would have come out of the stands and stand in front of me,” said Rodriguez. “It would have been tough. [McCarthy] did a great job and showed great restraint during the game and the interviews.
Rodriguez doesn’t have much time to be sympathetic. His squad returns home this Saturday to a tough test against No. 18 Oregon State, who previously has upset Wisconsin and UCLA.